Net metering programs are designed to allow the electric meters of customers with generating facilities to "turn backwards" when their generators are producing more energy than the customers' demand. Net metering allows customers to use their generation to offset their consumption over the entire billing period, not just instantaneously. This offset would enable customers with generating facilities to receive retail prices for more of the electricity they generate.[35]
The Renogy 400 Watt Kit is a set of 4 x 100w panels, coupled with a wiring and fuse kit, and all of the mounting brackets that are required to install them. They are a highly efficient monocrystalline cell type. There are bypass diodes built into the unit as well, which helps to maximize the power output of the device, even in low light conditions. The charger itself features a 4 stage charging method that allows your batteries to charge up evenly and at a set rate, which should prolong the life of your battery pack.

With a traditional wind turbine system, wind hits the rotary blades which turn a shaft connected to a gear box. The gear box increases the rotational speed enough to feed a generator, which converts the rotational energy into electrical energy. Modern systems get rid of the gearbox. Instead, the generating mechanism is housed in the blade tips and frame. The AIR wind turbine incorporates a three-phase brushless permanent magnet alternator and integrated microprocessor-based charge controller to optimize its power production capability. The microprocessor continuously adjusts the loading of the alternator to keep the turbine operating efficiently in most wind regimes.

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I found that the best way to connect between two cells was to use hot glue and some conductive mesh. The mesh is good since it allows light to come through it, and we all love glue guns. So all you need to do is glue the mesh onto the solar cell surface. Its always better to have a longer strip of mesh on the surface, with a big enough shared surface space between the two. Always check with a multimeter that there is connectivity, and that there is voltage coming through. Its a bummer later to try and figure out where the problem is.
After the cells are attached so the substrate, finish the wiring by using extra tabbing or wires to attach the 4 columns of 9 cells in series.  To know what to attach to what, visualize all of the columns connected together in one big column.  Remember which tabs would be connected together in this arrangement and make the same connections in the 4 columns of 9.

When you hear the term off-grid which is synonymous with stand alone systems, you may generate a picture in your mind of rustic pioneer-type living in a cabin with few modern conveniences. In fact, this is not necessarily the case. While it is true that off-grid solar power is usually not sufficient to power an electric heating and cooling system unless you just won the Lotto or work on wall street, nearly all other appliances can be adequately powered with a properly configured off-grid system. You simply start with a daily energy budget and match the right components to meet your power demands. Check out our off-grid living page for some great information to help you plan the right system for you.
Keep in the mind the costs associated with mounting your solar energy systems. You’ll need racking equipment to attach the solar panels to your roof and you’ll need the correct mounting system for your yard as well. And also keep in mind you need to really research the best positioning of the system to maximize the amount of sunlight you capture, taking into account the location of the sun during peak sunlight hours in addition to the location of any shade inhibiting objects (e.g., trees, buildings). Even one panel that is blocked from the sun due to a shade tree can inhibit the efficiency of the entire solar energy system.
The electrical current generated by your solar array will be direct current, or DC electricity. Most electrical appliances run on alternating current, or AC electricity. A power inverter converts the DC power of your solar array into AC power that your appliances can actually use. DC electricity travels in only one direction but AC electricity alternates back and forth. Without a power inverter, you will be forced to rewire your home and to purchase expensive DC powered appliances over lower cost mass-produced appliances made for the conventional home power source. In some cases, DC powered appliances will not be available and you will have to do without certain appliances. If you intend to be off-grid, you should consider propane to power things like stoves and refrigerators. Heat with a pellet or wood burning stove but make sure they are highly efficient modules that use less fuel.
Good points to make as i just recently designed my own mounts, but mine will be heavier duty than anything I’ve even seen in the USA since I’m mostly concerned about theft. I’m glad I’m outside the USA and don’t have to worry about all the paperwork, and since I’m a fabricator with a background in wiring, the only issue that I needed assistance with was the correct angle. Good reading and if I were in the US I would definitely hire someone to deal with all the headaches you mentioned.
Daily energy budget? It is NOT based on a homes sq. ft. It is NOT based on how many people are living in the house. It is based on the equipment or appliances you want to run and how long each day you typically run them. It does not get more individual than that. The amount of energy you and your family consumes each day will vary among individuals habits and personal choices.
Net annual energy production—The amount of annual energy (usually in kilowatt hours) produced or estimated for a given wind turbine at a given location, after subtracting losses from the gross annual energy production. A variety of losses may be estimated for obstacle wind shadows, turbulence, turbine wake effects, turbine availability, high-wind hysteresis effects, electrical efficiency, blade icing, blade soiling and surface degradation, idling parasitic losses, control errors, low temperature shutdown, utility system maintenance, and other issues specific to a given turbine installation.

First, link the cells in series. Respect this basic rule, just like if you were soldering batteries: the positive lead is to be soldered to the negative lead of the next cell. Do this for as many cells as needed to reach a voltage of 12 or 24 volts. Do not exceed that as you would enter the area of dangerous voltages. You want to generate serious power here, not fool around and you don’t want to electrocute yourself to death (take care!). The power remains the same, after all. You just need a minimum of 12 volts to kick-start a 12V inverter for generating 110/220V AC or charge your 12V battery packs. Linking the cell in series will increase the voltage.

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Depending on construction, photovoltaic modules can produce electricity from a range of frequencies of light, but usually cannot cover the entire solar range (specifically, ultraviolet, infrared and low or diffused light). Hence, much of the incident sunlight energy is wasted by solar modules, and they can give far higher efficiencies if illuminated with monochromatic light. Therefore, another design concept is to split the light into six to eight different wavelength ranges that will produce a different color of light, and direct the beams onto different cells tuned to those ranges.[10] This has been projected to be capable of raising efficiency by 50%.
Each module is rated by its DC output power under standard test conditions (STC), and typically ranges from 100 to 365 Watts (W). The efficiency of a module determines the area of a module given the same rated output – an 8% efficient 230 W module will have twice the area of a 16% efficient 230 W module. There are a few commercially available solar modules that exceed efficiency of 24%[1] [2]
Just like the solar energy industry, shortage of commodity has contributed to rising prices for the wind energy industry. The silver lining in the story is that an incredible increase in demand for turbines has contributed to rising costs. There are not enough manufacturers to make enough turbines or make them fast enough. Wind energy has finally been discovered by the masses as well as investors. It is clear that the wind industry will become a very profitable venture in the not-so-far future, and companies are plunging into the opportunity of being there as it happens.
Another situation where a small wind turbine can make good sense is in case your province, state, or country has rebates or other incentives that make it cheap to install one (just keep ongoing maintenance and repair cost in mind as well). While we would like to advocate responsible spending of government money, the small wind industry needs many more customers to mature. It takes time and installation numbers for manufacturers to work out the bugs, make better turbines, and make them cheaper.
Where the reputable, and more expensive manufacturers are good in honouring their warranties, you are likely on your own with the cheap stuff. Even with a good warranty, take our word for it that you would much rather not make use of it. Even if the manufacturer supplies replacement parts, it is still expensive to install them. Not to mention that your turbine will not be making energy meanwhile.
This depends on the size of the panel and the amount of sunlight it receives at your location which is called solar irradiance. A 260 watt panel receiving five hours of good sunlight per day generates 1,300 watt-hours*, or 1.3Kw, of electricity. (*STC = "Standard Test Conditions" Definition) To put that into context, the average U.S. off-grid household uses about 10 - 15Kw per day. Homeowners usually install several panels, depending on the amount of their off-grid daily energy budget.

The big advantage of installing DIY solar panels is cost saving. Usually it is possible to purchase solar panel kits, using reasonable quality equipment for around $2.00 per watt. When this is compared to the average cost of solar panels installed by solar companies of around $4.00 per watt this can be a saving of $10,000 on an average 5 kW residential solar power system.
If you ever have the chance and are in north-central California, visit the Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico. The parking lot has about 11,000 panels mounted on racks about ten feet up. The racks also support hop bines growing up them, for an extra bonus. Their site indicates 20% coverage of their electricity needs. I bet it was generating nice returns on the blazing 107-degree day I was there one summer. The new Sierra Nevada brewery in Asheville, NC also has them on pole arrays in the parking lot.
Flashing 6 Times: High temperature protection; Flashing 7 Times: PWM driving undervoltage/overvoltage; Flashing 8 Times: Internal voltage reference undervoltage/overvoltage; Flashing 9 Times: Sensor bias current error; Flashing 10 Times: Hardware zero passage detection failure. Noted that the above operations can only be performed with the power grid connected.
Research by Imperial College, London has shown that the efficiency of a solar panel can be improved by studding the light-receiving semiconductor surface with aluminum nanocylinders similar to the ridges on Lego blocks. The scattered light then travels along a longer path in the semiconductor which means that more photons can be absorbed and converted into current. Although these nanocylinders have been used previously (aluminum was preceded by gold and silver), the light scattering occurred in the near infrared region and visible light was absorbed strongly. Aluminum was found to have absorbed the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, while the visible and near infrared parts of the spectrum were found to be scattered by the aluminum surface. This, the research argued, could bring down the cost significantly and improve the efficiency as aluminum is more abundant and less costly than gold and silver. The research also noted that the increase in current makes thinner film solar panels technically feasible without "compromising power conversion efficiencies, thus reducing material consumption".[14]

Protecting cover on it to resist the harmful effects of UV rays & other weather conditions is downright incredible. Regarding braking system, you’ll find it outstandingly versatile- both automatic and manual options are incorporated in it. So, overheating due to sudden fall of a few amps won’t burn your turbines out anymore. You can stop this system manually during a gale to lengthen its life. Necessary equipment is included and it carries a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Flexible thin film cells and modules are created on the same production line by depositing the photoactive layer and other necessary layers on a flexible substrate. If the substrate is an insulator (e.g. polyester or polyimide film) then monolithic integration can be used. If it is a conductor then another technique for electrical connection must be used. The cells are assembled into modules by laminating them to a transparent colourless fluoropolymer on the front side (typically ETFE or FEP) and a polymer suitable for bonding to the final substrate on the other side.
72-cell panels are commonly used for larger systems, especially utility-scale but also residential and commercial projects. Most 72-cell panels measure 77x40” with power output in the range of 325-400 watts. 72-cell panels are ideal for larger systems because the bigger size reduces the total number of connections and components, making for an easier installation with less maintenance.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) National Wind Technology Center provides information about NREL's small wind turbine testing and development. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NREL have selected four partners (Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. in New York, Kansas State University, The Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University, and Windward Engineering, LLC in Utah) to establish small wind Regional Test Centers to conduct tests on small wind turbines to meet national and international standards. Reports from these Regional Test Centers are available for consumers.
The 1500W wind turbine is our most high powered wind turbine, made specifically for off-grid residential use in mind. Its DIY set-up instructions and with all the materials needed provided for, you will be able to set the wind turbine up in no time at all. The 1500W wind turbine is durable, low maintenance and the most powerful wind turbine in our line up of wind turbine having weighing at only 33 lbs. Coated with special high weather tolerant protection spray to protect the wind turbine from the elements such as rain. It is a completely self-sustaining stand-alone device that will continuously generates 100% clean GREEN renewable energy, without you being present or around it.
However, I am curious as to why you are fighting the fixed charge? You stated yourself that you are essentially using the grid as a battery. At night, you are still using the full infrastructure of the grid (wires / poles / power plants / etc.), which costs money to maintain. So it only seems to make sense that you have to pay for that, no? Yes, you are saving the utility some fuel costs during the middle of the day when your solar is exporting, but there are still a lot of other fixed costs that need to be covered. If you don’t pay your fair share of fixed costs, other customers will essentially be subsidizing you. In CA, where I live, this indirect subsidy from net metering could grow to over 2 billion dollars in the next decade. Ironically, it will be mainly richer people who own homes and buy solar that will be profiting from this.

I was just a kid, early teens I think, so I have no idea of what the cash outlay was + the tax credits, but it moved my frugal parents to action. We had a solar hot water system with oil assist for cloudy days (most of New England heats with oil). It’s been in place for 27-35+ years and even been moved from the main house roof to the garage roof with only minor control panel upgrades needed. It’s not a system that feeds back to the grid, it just runs water through… but it made a noticeable impact to our oil bills and was worth relocating to the garage when we expanded the house footprint and changed the roof line.

With our solar panels installed, we were waiting for the outside temperature to drop below -3°C/26°F, and surprisingly solar collector was already supplying the room with 3 m3/min (3 cubic meters per minute) of warm air. At the same time we have switched to more powerful fan than the one for testing. Hot air temperature went up to +72°C/162°F (measured with digital thermometer). To calculate total energy production of the furnace, we took into calculation the air flow and average air temperature on output. Calculated power which DIY solar panels produced, was approximately 1950 W (watts) which is almost 3 HP (3 horsepowers)!!!
Before you go searching for websites that sell solar kits the first thing you should do is get at least one quote from a full-service solar company. You can do that online through our solar panels estimator. The advantages of this are that you find out what the cost of the competing option to a DIY solar project (a full-service installation) costs. You need to know this to know whether all the individual costs you face when doing a DIY installation (panels, inverters, racking, electrical sundries, service board upgrades, installation labor, permitting and inspections) are actually worth it. Click here to learn how much a solar installation for your home will cost.
A residential wind turbine can cut the homeowner’s electrical bill in half. Wind turbine owners can reduce their utility costs to less than $20 for nine months during the year. The cost savings for a home wind product is based on the installation cost, the electric usage of the homeowner, and the amount of wind present at the home site. An average home having all modern electrical appliances uses about 9400 kWh of electricity per year (783 kWh per month). Assuming reasonable wind speeds throughout the year, a wind turbine of 5 kW to 15 kW power output would provide the required electricity. If you create more energy than you use, your power company might pay you to sell them the extra power.
You must be committed enough to Buy a Home Wind Turbine system and learn from us about our wind turbines from direct experience. We take much time and great effort to educate customers and dealers all about wind/solar hybrid technology. Making dealership opportunities available to customers only helps us to focus on those who will know our technology and receive training through their installation. Then we have additional front line support and dealers who know the products and can demonstrate and sell with first hand experience. Many of our dealers become installers or offer installation services and we assist in training them to become installers.
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If you’re connected to the grid, the net meter you need for your solar energy system is a big component to your energy savings. It monitors how much unused solar power you’re feeding into the grid and how much grid energy you are using to power your home. Regardless of the number, the installation of solar panels will drastically decrease the amount of energy you’re drawing from the grid overall; and hopefully, with careful planning, your utility bills will hover near $0 based on the credit you’ll receive back from contributing to the grid.

VAWT type turbines have no inherent advantage over HAWT type turbines. There, we have said it! VAWTs do not do any better in turbulent wind than HAWTs. Leaving the Savonius type VAWTs out (the type that looks like an oil drum cut in half – they have very poor efficiency anyway), both horizontal and vertical type turbines rely on an airfoil, a wing, to produce power. Airfoils simply do not work well in turbulent air; the wind needs to hit them at just the right angle and eddies wreak havoc. Couple that with the insistence of vertical axis turbine manufacturers to install their devices on very short towers or rooftops, and you get the picture. It will not work.
Paying to have solar panels cleaned is often not a good investment; researchers found panels that had not been cleaned, or rained on, for 145 days during a summer drought in California, lost only 7.4% of their efficiency. Overall, for a typical residential solar system of 5 kW, washing panels halfway through the summer would translate into a mere $20 gain in electricity production until the summer drought ends—in about 2 ½ months. For larger commercial rooftop systems, the financial losses are bigger but still rarely enough to warrant the cost of washing the panels. On average, panels lost a little less than 0.05% of their overall efficiency per day.[28]
Permitting—The process of obtaining legal permission to build a project, potentially from a number of government agencies, but primarily from the local building department (i.e., the city, county, or state). During this process, a set of project plans is submitted for review to assure that the project meets local requirements for safety, sound, aesthetics, setbacks, engineering, and completeness. The permitting agency typically inspects the project at various milestones for adherence to the plans and building safety standards.